Work continues on my next nonfiction title. The exciting front cover is done, I have okayed the interior design, and have offered suggestions for the back-cover blurb. I'll say more, once a few basics have been settled.
To see my Facebook personal page, go here. To see my new Facebook business page, go here. Silas's head and mine are cut off, but at least you'll see the books. (Brooklyn Book Festival, 2018.) Sometimes these links work, and sometimes they don't. Good luck!
So now that I've got a Facebook business page, what do I do with it? Any suggestions? Of course Facebook wants me to do ads, so as to put shekels in their coffers.
I haven't small-talked for quite a while, even though small talk is usually preferable to big talk, being easier to take. I thought I would mention two former posts, one that used to be the most visited one on the blog, and the one that replaced it. The no. 1 post today is #125, "Remarkable Women: Eliza Jumel." Its popularity is quite understandable, since it tells the story of a prostitute's daughter who became the friend of two ex-kings and a future emperor. The main problem in telling it is deciding which version of Madame Jumel's many accounts of her origins and early years we should believe; I did my best. Her story has great appeal for feminists today. (To read the post, go here. It also appears as chapter 13 in my nonfiction title Fascinating New Yorkers. For this and my other books, go here.)
The post that used to rank no. 1 is more controversial. Originally published as #43, it is now republished as #239: "Man / Boy Love: The Great Taboo." When I self-published my first nonfiction title, No Place for Normal: New York / Stories from the Most Exciting City in the World (Mill City Press, 2015), I wanted to include the post as a chapter, but Mill City, the outfit helping me self-publish, refused to include it, if the book was published under their name; they feared legal repercussions. I was free to publish it under my own name, but I chose not to, since this would have involved inventing a publisher, acquiring ISBNs and bar codes, and other complications. What did Mill City fear? Probably, a lawsuit by parents whose underage son had been molested by an older man. But I only endorsed completely consensual relationships then, and still do now. To fully grasp my position, you have to read the post. I much regret that it never appeared in the book. (To read the post, go here. I am not responsible for certain oddities in the text. Blame my computer.)
Karposi's Sarkoma, a Deadly Mystery
A few weeks ago I was visiting the public library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street for the first time in years. Going down a long third-floor hallway whose walls were covered with material celebrating the Stonewall riots of fifty years ago, I entered the north hall of the ornate reading room, en route to room 328, the Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts, at the very end of the room. There, being expected (one doesn’t go there casually), I signed in and was admitted. A hushed atmosphere prevailed, and only one or two other patrons were present, their nose deep in a manuscript. I showed my I.D., took a seat, and waited, armed only with a pencil and a sheet of paper (nothing else, pens included, is allowed). Soon they brought me the item I had come to see: The Spencer Beach and Barry Leach memorabilia, 1976-1985, a single file of AIDS-related correspondence, photographs, and memorial cards. Why did this carefully preserved material interest me? Because I had known both Spencer and Barry, but only a day or two before, in googling Spencer’s name to verify the year of his death, had I discovered the existence of this file. To explain, I’ll have to leap back in time to 1982, and then even further back to 1940.
|The crowning of George VI.|
From an illustration of the time.
Also distinguishing Spencer was his talk. Always entertaining, it was superior, unique. He told me
|The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, their titles after|
his abdication. Does she look like a tramp steamer?
|Chart showing the spread of AIDS|
in the late 1980s and 1990s.